Hair and hair care have come a long way since the dawn of Man, but remains as important as ever to most people. Here, we break down the essentials that every person who values their hair should know in order to keep their hair looking and feeling its absolute best.
Please note that this ebook provides an exhaustive list of hair care tips that may not cater to your unique skin and hair type. Please use discretion and speak to your medical care provider if you have any issues or concerns before applying a hair care treatment. Now, let us begin with some simple and natural ways in which to optimize the look, feel, and health of your hair.
For starters, your diet can have a profound impact on the health of your hair. It is a proven fact that hair is made of protein, so nourishing your hair follies and scalp with essential nutrients is of the utmost importance when it comes to maintaining your hair. For instance, eating lean red meat-which is rich in zinc and iron-can help your hair look and feel its best. You can also improve your body’s ability to absorb iron by combining the lean red meat with fruits rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, as well lentils and/or soybeans.
You should also try consuming skinned chicken to improve your daily protein intake, as protein helps boost both cellular repair and growth. For instance, consuming 6-to-9 ounces of chicken will provide most people with their recommended daily protein intake. Those interested in silky-smooth, lustrous hair should also add foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon. Salmon will not only help hydrate your hair but may also help fight depression and help maintain optimal cardiac health.
Another hair-healthy food you should eat to help improve your hair’s health is eggs. Eggs are rich in the B vitamin known as biotin. Biotin is essential for hair growth, and eggs have the added bonus of being rich in choline, protein, and vitamin D.
Before you use a conditioner and/or shampoo you may want to massage your scalp with some vinegar. However, this is not something that you should use every day. Experts recommend a vinegar scalp message once every six months. Simply combine one part vinegar with three parts warm water, and then rinse and wash your hair as your normally would. The aforementioned vinegar scalp massage will not help clean your hair but also help reduce dandruff and improve hair shine/lustre.
You can also try a scalp massage using rosemary or peppermint oil if you suffer from hair loss. Dandruff sufferers should use lavender or tree-leaf oil instead, while chamomile or rose oil is recommended for people who suffer from dry hair. You should use the aforementioned essential oil based scalp massage treatments once a week before you bathe or shower.
It is also recommended that you let your hair dry naturally instead of using a hair dryer. We would recommend that you wrap your hair in a t-shirt made of cotton after you come out of the shower. While most people use either hair dryers or manually dry their hair with towels, hair dryers can damage hair with their use of excessive heat, while towels tend to be made of abrasive materials that can cause split ends and frizz.
You should also never brush wet hair, as it will cause your hair to become brittle and weak. If you are concerned about hair tangles while your hair is wet, then only use a wide tooth comb to untangle your hair. On the subject of hair combing, while routine hair combing helps stimulate hair follicles, leading to increased hair growth, excessive hair combing will damage your hair strands, resulting in split ends and frizz in due time.
Straightening irons and curlers should also be used sparingly, if at all, and the same goes for dyeing, bleaching, crimping, and perming your hair. If you must style your hair, avoid using rubber bands to pull back your hair, as rubber bands cause hair snagging which will literally rip your hairs out of their follicles. You should also avoid any hair styles that pull hair back or tightly pin hair. Examples include tight ponytails and cornrows; both of which may place unwanted stress on hair follicles and damage hair roots. When it comes to maintaining hair health, less is more, and a chignon or simple ponytail is not only elegant, but simple, requiring very little to no abrasive hair products.
We hope you have learned a few natural hair care techniques that will help your hair looking and feeling its best using natural methods. Now, we turn to hair care products that will help improve the look, feel, and health of your hair, without breaking the bank, or your hair.
When it comes to shampoos most shampoos are essentially the same; in the sense that they’ll do what they are intended to do, which is clean hair. Dermatologist Dr. Dee Anna Glaser claims that, “There are dozens of brands with all kinds of things-like botanicals and antioxidants added. But there’s no evidence that one is better than the other. If you like the smell and feel of the shampoo you’re using, that’s all you need to care about.”
That having been said, people with dandruff should use a shampoo that is clinically proven to reduce dandruff. To check if you have dandruff, simply comb your hair thoroughly and check your comb or brush. If you notice many tiny white flakes, then you have dandruff. If you suffer from dandruff make sure that the shampoo you chose contains at least one of the following ingredients (i.e., tar, zinc, ketoconazole, selenium sulphide, salicylic acid). Most experts claim that the aforementioned anti-dandruff ingredients are equally effective.
In addition, if you are concerned about damaging your hair avoid shampoos that are abundant in parabens and sulphates, as they can strip away the lipid layer found on hair in some cases. Most experts also recommend that you should apply shampoo directly on the scalp, instead of all over in order to reduce hair damage. You also do not need to wash your hair every day unless you suffer from oily hair.
Then there is the question of conditioners. Conditioners serve the purpose of reducing the likelihood of hair entanglement by coating your hair. It is also important that you don’t fall for the marketing hype. That is, conditioners that promise extra body simply add more coating to hair. As for whom should use conditioners, people with short or straight hair can do without them or can simply use a shampoo/conditioner duo product. However, people who have long, kinky, or curly hair would benefit from a separate conditioner product, although brand names don’t matter; as virtually all brands will provide you with the intended effect.
Studies have also shown that African Americans in particular should use hair conditioners as their hair tends to break at the root. In terms of the types of hair conditioners available on the market they fall into two broad categories; namely deep/leave-in conditioners and rinse-out conditioners. Leave-in conditioners help reduce damage caused by processing, aggressive brushing, and/or excessive blow-drying by smoothing out the topmost layer of hair. As for rinse-out conditioners, they are designed to protect hair from tangling or breaking by coating the hair.
Ingredients to look for when choosing a hair conditioner include wheat and rice protein-which can strengthen hair by up to 10% by filling in hair cuticles tentatively, and dimethicone and shea butter; which can help moisturize hair. Furthermore, people who color their hair should use a deep conditioner once a week and can even use conditioners that can be left on during the night.
Moreover, people who suffer from bald spots or thinning hair are at increased risk of premature skin aging as well as skin cancer, as the exposed areas are vulnerable to harmful ultraviolet rays emitted from the sun. The problem with most people is that they forget to protect their scalps when applying sunscreen. If you have bald spots that you are concerned about we recommend using a sunscreen lotion that has a SPF of at least 30. There are also sunscreen products available in spray form for people who don’t want to use lotions, as well as styling gels and hairsprays that have built-in SPF properties.